``I lost my gift to him'': the consequences of female sexual dysfunction on breast cancer survivors in Malaysia

Ya, Siti Nuryati Che and Muhamad, Rosediani and Zakaria, Rosnani and Zain, Norhasmah Mohd and Ishak, Azlina and Hassan, Intan Idiana and Ab Hadi, Imisairi and Low, Wah Yun and Liamputtong, Pranee (2022) ``I lost my gift to him'': the consequences of female sexual dysfunction on breast cancer survivors in Malaysia. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 51 (3). pp. 1625-1635. ISSN 0004-0002, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02051-3.

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Sexuality is currently neglected in the medical care of cancer patients although female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and sexual problems are highly prevalent among breast cancer patients in Malaysia. This paper explores the consequences of breast cancer and its treatment on the sexuality and sexual health of women with breast cancer using a qualitative design and a phenomenological methodology. Fourteen married women with breast cancer who fulfill the criteria for FSD from Kelantan, Malaysia participated in two interviews: in-depth interview and followed by photo-elicitation interview after two weeks duration. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis. We identified overlapping themes that can be explained by sexual script theory. Breast cancer treatments disturb the sex response cycle, leading to changes in sexuality, from intimacy in marriage to women preferring physical affection to intercourse. The women struggled with a perceived imperfection about symbol of femininity after noticing changes in their husbands' sexual performance and after experiencing their own sentiments of inadequacy as a wife. Fear and guilt surfaced as part of the journey, accompanied by frustration on the part of the spouse, or him becoming more attentive. This study highlights the problem of breast cancer and its treatment as regards the sexual well-being of patients and their spouses. Hence, recognizing and addressing sexual health will improve the overall experience for survivors.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Universiti Sains Malaysia (Grant No. 1001/PPSP/8012284)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breast cancer; Female sexual dysfunction; Qualitative studies; Sexuality; Sexual health
Subjects: R Medicine > RD Surgery
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & International) Office > Asia-Europe Institute
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 06:30
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 06:30
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/42412

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